Adds CEO comment, context
FRANKFURT, January 18 (Reuters) – Uniper, one of Nord Stream 2’s backers, expects the pipeline to be available for transporting gas from the start of the next winter heating season in October, its CEO said.
The pipeline, which is technically complete, still needs to be certified by the German network agency. Uniper’s UN01.DE Managing director Klaus-Dieter Maubach told the Handelsblatt’s annual energy summit that this was planned for the end of the summer.
“I expect – assuming the Ukraine-Russia conflict does not escalate – that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will have passed the certification process this summer, possibly late summer,” he said. Maubach said.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz signaled on Tuesday that Germany may consider shutting down the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will carry Russian gas to Europe, if Russia attacks Ukraine.
“Of course, at Uniper, we are worried (…) about what is happening at the Russian-Ukrainian border and this is a risk that could have a very short-term impact on the gas supply”, a Maubach said.
He said he expected the pipeline to be available as a gas import infrastructure for the German and European market from the next gas year, which starts on October 1, 2022.
“Russia is an important and indispensable partner for us,” Maubach added.
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Vera Eckert; Editing by David Goodman and Alexander Smith)
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